by Max Brantley
Another mass killing in New Mexico this week (five dead; military-style semi-automatic rifle used) sets a good tone for the Arkansas legislature. It will return to work today with gun violence high on its agenda. How?
* A House committee should whoop through a resolution, unsupported by specifics, that reacts with alarm to President Obama's outline of steps to take to make guns safer to the citizenry. It's bad. Obama proposed it. That's all the gun nuts of the Arkansas legislature need to know.
* Over in the Senate, it shouldn't take long for a committee to approve Sen. Bryan King's bill to allow concealed handguns in church.
So Arkansas asks and answers the pop quiz on guns.
Q: What to do about gun violence?
A: Oppose any and all responses that might inconvenience a gun manufacturer. Put more guns in public places, beginning with hidden ones in church. Address gun violence in schools with more guns in school (bills on this to come later this session.)
PS — I've been meaning to give a shoutout to the outdoor columnist over at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for coming up with a practical defense (pay wall) for the need for military-style semiautomatic weapons. They are the best legal option for mass killing tools given the current restrictions on sale of fully automatic weapons (isn't THAT a 2nd Amendment infringement, huh?) And why would anyone need a mass killing tool? Writes Bryan Hendricks:
Semiautomatic rifles with high-capacity magazines are important tools for managing feral hogs.
Recreational hunting is a vital cog in managing feral swine, but it is only effective if you kill a concentration of pigs. That requires semiautomatic weapons capable of firing a lot of rounds quickly.
And if some innocent people get slaughtered, it's a small price to pay to have the ready availability of tools necessary to control feral hogs.
And speaking of feral hogs and why they proliferate in Arkansas. (Thanks, Dawn.)